Blind persons' acquisition of spatial cognitive mapping and orientation skills supported by virtual environment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mental mapping of spaces and the possible paths for navigating these spaces is essential for the development of efficient orientation and mobility skills. Most of the information required for this mental mapping is gathered through the visual channel. Blind persons lack this crucial information and in consequence face great difficulties (a) in generating efficient mental maps of spaces, and therefore (b) in navigating efficiently within these spaces. The work reported in this paper follows the assumption that the supply of appropriate spatial information through compensatory sensorial channels, as an alternative to the (impaired) visual channel, may contribute to the mental mapping of spaces and consequently, to blind persons' spatial performance. The main tool in the study was a virtual environment enabling blind persons to learn about real life spaces, which they are required to navigate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • cognition
  • haptic devices
  • mobility
  • rehabilitation
  • virtual environments
  • virtual simulation
  • visual impairment

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